Národní třída hosts November 17 party

The entire street will have music and events all day to mark the Velvet Revolution

The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day, on Nov. 17, will be celebrated on Národní třída and náměstí Václava Havla for the fifth year in a row with a festival called Korzo Národní. Related events will take place at Albertov and in other cities under the banner Festival svobody, or Freedom Festival.

Unlike many other anniversaries this year, this one in not a round number as it has been 29 years since 1989 and 79 years since the student uprising in 1939.

Korzo Národní from 10 am to 10 pm will feature dozens of concerts, theater performances, readings, educational exhibitions as well as children's programs. Musical acts include The Tap Tap, Katarzia, Jiří Stivín, Luboš Andršt, Ghost of You and the choir Festa Academica. The literary program, in Czech, features Zdeněk Svěrák, Anna Geislerová and Michael Žantovský.

The celebrations will take place along the whole street from the National Theater to Jungmannovo náměstí. The program will also take place inside of buildings and in projections on facades.

“We are always trying to expand the festival program with new genres. The diversity of the program shows the diversity of a free society. Due to the increasing attendance on the street, we decided to expand the premises where Korzo takes place,” festival planner Oskar Rejchrt, said in a press release.

In the alternative theater space DUP 39, Spitfire Company will bring Antiwords, an adaptation of Havel's Audience. Theater X10 introduces a play on the themes of Ivan Martin Jirous, a member of the band Plastic People better known as Magor. The New Stage of the National Theater marks the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia with a production about the Czech Legions. The theater program is the only part with an admission fee.

Awards for people who helped promote freedom and democracy will be given out at the Historical Building of the National Theater in a gala ceremony that will be televised on ČT2 and broadcast on the radio.

Several historical photo exhibitions will be seen on panels, and large photos will be projected on a building.

Aside from street performances there will be a music program at Rock Café in the evening. “The celebration of November 1989 is really important to us. The Velvet Revolution and also the personality of Václav Havel, who staged a farewell party after the end of his last presidential term, is closely connected with the club and we are glad we can be part of such important anniversaries,” Lukáš Růžek, club director for Rock Café, said.

Dozens of non-profit organizations will have presentations. “This year, we asked non-profit organizations to present their work. They are the people who make efforts to change the world around them. This is, in our opinion, is one of the most important links to November 17,” Marcela Macháčková, who is preparing a block on non-profit organizations, said.

There are additional celebrations at the university campus at Albertov, where key events related to student involvement in the Velvet Revolution took place. The program will run from 10 am to 7 pm.

For more information, visit www.dikyzemuzem.cz or www.facebook.com/dikyzemuzem.

Freedom Festival

Korzo is part of the Freedom Festival platform, which covers events organized by citizens' initiatives to recall the November event. The aim of this link is to create a comprehensive program for visitors, mutual coordination and support, and above all, a joint effort to promote the values associated with the 17th of November. As part of the Freedom Festival, the Concert for the Future in Wenceslas Square or the satirical process of Velvet Worship will also be held traditionally. The academic community will meet again on Albert. You can find out more about the whole project at www.festivalsvobody.cz.

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